Course design: Integrating ecosystem approach, sustainability principles and scientific concepts in non-STEM curricula

Wednesday N/A Online
Teaching Demonstration Part of Teaching Demonstrations


Dr. Archana Sharma, Terraafont Consulting LLC


How to design and deliver a curricula infused with scientific concepts, sustainability ethos and ecosystem approach, toward environmental conservation, design, practice and policy-making.

Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this presenter is no longer able to present at the Rendezvous.


A ten minutes of descriptive expository talk would be shared with the audience on designing a new course or retrofitting a current course to integrate ecosystem approach, sustainability principles and scientific concepts in non-STEM curricula. Example of curricula design would be shared. A method refined by the presenter, over the years, to design or retrofit curricula would be provided. Subsequently, the audience would participate in a course design activity, working on one of their courses or on samples provided by the presenter, thus applying the method into practice and making modifications as needed. The take-home outcome would be in terms of a method of curricula design and a retrofitted course design.


I have designed and redeveloped courses in architecture, landscape architecture and city and regional planning Programs, in addition to co-developing two Graduate program curricula with STEM orientation as focus. This workshop should assist not only the design disciplines but other non-STEAM curricula designers with an approach to integrate fundamental STEM knowledge in their course towards the goal of sending out environmentally conscious citizens and professionals.

Why It Works

About 72 percent of post-secondary student enrollment is in non-STEM programs (NCES, 2009). Approximately, 13 percent of this goes to various design programs with no intersection with science and scientific approaches. This workshop on "Integrating ecosystem science approach in design curricula" begins to address this gap of STEM-oriented education opportunity. The end goal is to be able to provide a language, skill and approach to designers to comprehend fundamental ecosystem scientific concept when engaging in environmental conservation and natural resources management discourse with cross-disciplinary scientific community.